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Citizens for Limited Taxation

School Choice: Parents should get involved Sunday, July 27, 2003
Harold J. Wolfe Metrowest Daily News
In the Boston Sunday Globe, July 20, 2003, an article entitled "Report: Charter schools perform better on tests" states that charter schools are performing slightly better than government schools in reading and math.

Pam Richardson, a member of the Framingham School Committee and a member of the Alliance for Educational Equity questioned the accuracy of the comparison because, she said, charter school parents are more involved in their children's education.

"They are finding that parents who select charter schools are parents who are very involved in their child's education.  Parents who do not have the luxury of being involved are not selecting charter schools," said Richardson.

I'm having difficulty with the concept of parents thinking that would be a luxury.  As expensive as it is to raise a child, I just cannot see parents considering it a luxury to be involved in their education.  I see it as a necessity.  Why is it difficult for parents to talk to their kids in the evening about school and homework and helping them out?  Besides, it's one great way to mingle with your kids.  Parents who just intend to throw their kids into the government school gulag and hope for the best will probably get what they deserve.

I realize that as the price of housing in Framingham goes up, the concept of only one parent working is now almost gone.  I just think that the school committee should provide parents with tips and ideas on how to cope with their children in terms of getting the best education they can.  Instead, school committee members will write endless letters about how the funding for charter schools are destroying the government schools.

Ignoring and even discounting higher grades is a really bad idea for a member of the Framingham School Committee, especially one who claims to do it "for the children."

Finally, for those parents interested in schools in general, I highly recommend a book I recently read: "The Worm in the Apple: How teacher unions are destroying American education" by Peter Brimelow.

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